KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is no truth behind social media scuttlebutt that people can “detox” their body of the COVID-19 vaccine in a bath made with the household cleaner borax, say experts, including a physician with The University of Kansas Health System.
Anti-vaxxers on social media have been recommending all manner of sketchy and debunked rituals to like-minded followers who begrudgingly followed vaccine mandates but now regret it, NBC News reported Friday.
The report spotlighted TikTok user Carrie Madej, who shared the ingredients of a bath she said would “detox the vaxx.” Madej is an osteopathic doctor with more than 43,000 Instagram followers.
“Her solution? A bath with baking soda for ‘radiation’ and epsom salt for ‘poisons,’ ” tweeted NBC senior reporter Ben Collins. “Then, she says, add borax to clean out ‘nanotechnologies.’ (Don’t do this.)“
Madej’s TikTok video has scooped up hundreds of thousands of views.
“Detox remedies and regimens have been staples of the anti-vaccine movement for years,” Collins reported. “Long before COVID, anti-vaccine influencers and alternative health entrepreneurs promoted unproven and sometimes dangerous treatments they claimed would rid children of the alleged toxins that lingered after routine childhood immunizations.”
Borax, which can also be used to kill insects and treat mold and mildew, is “a potentially caustic and harmful substance,” Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control for the KU health system, said Friday during a morning medical update.
“I think it is just probably people who are out trying to make money,” Hawkinson said of the borax fad.
If anybody was thinking about doing it, Hawkinson cautioned, “this is nothing that is supported by science or data or anything of that nature.”
Hawkinson also warned about people using essential oils to treat or prevent COVID-19, something the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also cautioned about those rumors circulating online.
“We know that those Walmart essential oils have been linked to a number of very significant bacterial infections as well,” Hawkinson said. “That is another outbreak that is kinda going on in the United States as well.”
Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star